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A Quick Look at Artificial Intelligence

26 Oct 06:00 by Sean Johnson

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Scroll through LinkedIn or social media and you’re bound to happen upon an article about the impending Artificial Intelligence (AI) revolution. The tone of these articles varies from excitement about the possible futuristic applications, or words of warning about the potential effects on employment and workforce structures. (Watching the Terminator movies is not recommended!!) Regardless of your opinions on what AI will mean for the global economy, it’s hard to deny that it’s impact will be important.

So – what really is AI?

First named in the 1950’s, Artificial Intelligence was used to refer to any action or task that a machine completed that a human would have to use intelligence to also complete.  

What does this mean for us?

While it’s easy to get swept away in future predictions, there are a number of recent developments in AI which directly relate to businesses and workforces today.

Microsoft has announced the inclusion of AI technology across OneDrive and SharePoint, allowing for video and audio content to be automatically transcribed and searchable. Imagine being able to return to a meeting transcription, search for the keywords or topics relevant to you and bookmark these conversations for future reference!  

Google Duplex made waves earlier this year with a demonstration video of the Google Assistant calling a hair salon and restaurant on behalf of a user (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5VN56jQMWM) Google aims to take this lifelike AI voice software further and create virtual call centres aimed at managing incoming customer queries across industries.

AI is also revolutionising health care. Insurance companies are investing heavily into AI predictive software aimed at earlier diagnoses and clearer prognoses while Google Coach is a new AI based initiative from the technology giant to incorporate machine learning into health and well-being. Customised to each individual wearer of a SmartWatch, Google Coach will deliver unique health and fitness advice throughout the day based on internal metrics and external conditions. Text removed

No one knows the potential heights AI technology could reach, or what it will mean for how we live, interact or work in the future. One thing is certain, what used to be reserved for science fiction movies could soon be a part of everyday office life!